Friday, July 29, 2011


It was July 25, 2005 when I toed the line of my first Ultra-Marathon. It's sometimes hard to comprehend that I've been at this thing called "ultras" ever since. I often times look back at how it all began, and the progression I endured working my way up to that first ultra. I also think about the road I've taken since, the amazing places I've been, the things I've accomplished. There's no better time then the present to take time to reflect on the journey.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Silent Treatment

In the six full years that I've been ultra-marathon running, I can honestly tell you that my opinions and level of respect for Race Directors varies on a case by case basis. I'll never forget the RD of my first Ultra-marathon, Jim Houghtaling, and how incredibly amazing he was to every racer in the race he volunteered to put on. Jim made sure every race received a hand shake and a hello at the finish line. His race was built on fun and family. You always felt this from beginning to end. From his pre-race e-mails, to his post race e-mails.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I showed up for the Silver Rush 50 last weekend not knowing what to expect, yet I thought I had done some pretty good homework through the "online experience." I read old race reports, I watched other runners previous videos from the event. What I found was harder then I had expected. Maybe a part of me was both naive towards the course yet overconfident of my abilities to take it on. I forgot to remind myself that I really had only signed up 3 weeks prior, after determining that I could handle the elevation. Thankfully during the run, I was able to handle the elevation quite well. What killed me, was that epic climb out of Printer Boy II and up back towards Sherman's trailhead.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VB: 2011 Silver Rush 50

Sherpa John : Human Potential is proud to present its Video Blog Premier! Join us regularly here on the HP blog as we continue to bring you race footage, run footage, gear reviews, interviews and more! Join our YouTube Channel at:

Human Potential VB: Episode 1
The 2011 Silver Rush 50 Mile Run

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

RR: 2011 Silver Rush 50

July 17, 2011
Silver Rush 50 Mile Run
48 Miles - Leadville, CO

"Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain." ~Author Unknown
It wasn't but 2 weeks ago that I decided to sign up for the Silver Rush 50. A last minute decision I was waiting to make based on my ability to train and my adjustments to the altitude after having moved to the Boulder area at the end of May. I didn't know what to expect heading into this race as most of the information I had research online pertained to the Mountain Bike version of Silver Rush and not much in the way of runners info. What I did find was on youtube, a series of short and rather well done videos of the race, which helped me prepare for the inevitable. The inevitable being altitude, relentless climbs and a very long day in gorgeous Leadville Colorado.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Race Preview: Silver Rush 50

Silver Rush 50 Mile Run
Leadville, CO
50 Miles
8,000' of climb : 8,000' of descent
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Well here we go, Race one of my ultra-season is here, finally. It's been a long road getting to this point and over the last two months I feel like I've truly rallied my spirit and regained both my passion and fitness for a sport which, in a sense, drifted away after my Leadville 100 performance last August. This first race of the season is something I signed up for about 3 weeks ago on a whim. I felt like my training was better then I had hoped for and well on track. I am heading into this weekends race, certainly not thinking about racing it, but if the ultra-gods have it their way and my body feels ready I do very much intend on giving it a little push. In essence this is a training run on the long road back to the Leadville 100 to finish what I started last August. With any luck, my blog post on Monday will read "Johnny's Back!" We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Part of my more focused training over the course of the last month has been in dealing with distractions. When running ultra's, or even in hiking, distractions come from two areas. Obviously, these areas are more better known as "internal" and "external" distractions. In this post we're going to talk a little bit about what some common internal and external distractions might be, how they can effect your race and how you can train to deal with them before race day comes.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Whipping Boy

Last week I had my half-way review at my internship. I've made it to the 200 hour, of 400 hours, in just 25 days of work. In seeing that I'm a few weeks ahead of schedule in completing my internship, and without there being a whole lot going on in the field, my boss gave me 4 days off. This, in essence, was a god send as this weekend was all readt slated by me to be a killer weekend of training as I head into Taper Week for the Silver Rush 50 and peak training weeks for the Leadville 100. While I began to plan my weekend of training, I knew that while I try to rack of some miles, I also need to be wary of not over doing it. While I am indeed treating the Silver Rush 50 as a training run, it still very much is a race. I want to be prepared and rested for race day regardless of what the race has been determined to be. This weekend was more about miles, time on my feet, climbing and pushing through discomfort. What followed is this:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

UltraRunning Magazine

It was November 2009 when my subscription of UltraRunning Magazine had expired. Without enough money between Sarah and I to renew the subscription, I let it lapse and I was left out in the dark. I loved that magazine. The pages were always chock full of race results and reports, stats, scientific research findings, poems, short stories, insights and nutrtional help. In some ways, the magazine was source of information for anything ultra-running. A way for any runner to do research on a previous race or specific physiological needs. When I first subscribed to the magazine, it was edited by Don Allison from his home in Massachusetts. It came in black and white from cover to cover and you could tell, it represented a sport on the fringe of being "something" better then it all ready was.

So today, after walkign into the Boulder Running Company, I looked down near the register and found a pile of UltraRunning magazines for sale at $4.95 an issue. I quickly snatched one up and purchased it without even openning the cover. Moments later I was stunned at what I saw and a breif moment of personal nostalgia swept through my veins. The magazine was thick and heavy, full of what seemed like endless race results from a sport gone crazy. Color on both front and back cover and from page one to page none. I'm sad that I'm missing issues December 2009 thru June 2011, I'm hoping a fellow ultra runner is ready to part with their copies and willing to ship them my way. Without hesitation tonight, I used tip money from work to renew my subscription to the magazine I so love. I'm excited to show up at the Silver Rush 50 in a few days.. knowing that the night for the race I'll be laying in my tent like I used to. Reading the pages of my beloved.. searching for any last minute inspiration.

A one year subscription to UltraRunning Magazine costs $40.. to my knowledge, it's $20 cheaper then it was in 2009.


Saturday, July 2, 2011


This past month of June was as epic a month as I can remember. After settling into my new apartment here in Boulder County, I was able to also settle into the surroundings. This includes the people, the history, the trails and the culture as a whole. As June came to a close, I also closed in on the half-way point of my internship all ready. I need to work 400 hours at the company I'm with and by the end of this upcoming week, I'll have hit 200. While I've worked hard in with the internship and the area in general, I've also worked hard on my running.

Heading into this month, what of a year I was piecing together was a sorry excuse for a training regime. Just over 100 miles in January after I put together a streak of days run. My shin hurt and I complained about it all through the winter. November and December never broke 60 miles for either month, 42 miles total for February, 78 for March. 48 for April and 79 for May. It hasn't looked good heading into the summer with Leadville rearing it's ugly head. I knew I had no choice but to pour it on for the entire month of June.

At the end of June I've run 127 miles.. all training. I didn't run a single race to accumulate those miles and it's the first time since 2009 where I've run so many miles in one month solely from training alone. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am. I also have to mention that as it's the eve of another diet detox to try and lose more weight, I managed to lose 9 pounds in June from exercise alone. I weighed in this week at 167.2 pounds.. a weight I haven't seen since July 2009. To put the cheery on top, the pain in my shine as completely disappeared.

I'm beginning to feel like that well oiled machine again. I haven't felt this good and ready to race since 2009. I signed up for the Silver Rush 50 Miler in Leadville to put what training I've done to the test. I'm running faster and more efficiently and I'm starting to feel ready to go. I'm incredibly excited, that as expected, my running base has served me well. July will be no different then June, even with Silver Rush coming up in 2 weeks. Pouring it on, getting ready for the big dance.. I can't wait to run through Twin Lakes II with my middle finger raised high.

Hey... Happy 4th everyone. In case you were wondering, in God Bless America where we sing "for purple mountains majesty" it really exists. Sunset, almost every night. Enjoy the HOliday and God Bless America

Happy Trails
(Not running for President)